Taylor Force, 28, of Lubbock, who more recently lived in Nashville, Tennessee, was killed in Tel Aviv during a terror attack.  The Times of Israel reported the attack and Vanderbilt University confirmed Force’s death in a written statement.

On Tuesday, the Times reported, “Force, a Lubbock, Texas native, was killed and at least 10 people were injured Tuesday evening when a Palestinian man carried out a stabbing spree in Jaffa. Five of the injured were described as being in critical condition.”

Force was on a trip with other Vanderbilt students according to the university.

“All other Vanderbilt students, faculty and staff on the trip are safe,” Vanderbilt said.

According to multiple sources Force was a military veteran and a graduate of the New Mexico Military Institute.  He was also previously a student at Irons Middle School. 

“Still almost kind of surreal to me that it’s him,” said Marty Northern, Force’s former Scoutmaster from Troop 505 in Lubbock. “I just can’t put any sense to why somebody would have randomly attacked someone like him. He’s a good kid, he’s a good guy, he’s a good man. they don’t know anything about him.”

According to the Times of Israel, “The terrorist, later identified as 22-year-old Palestinian Bashar Massalha, stabbed his victims in at least three locations in an attack that lasted some 20 minutes, reports said.”

The Times also said, “The attacker was shot dead by police after a chase from the Jaffa Port along the Tel Aviv beach promenade.”

Vanderbilt also said, “Taylor embarked on this trip to expand his understanding of global entrepreneurship and also to share his insights and knowledge with start-ups in Israel. He exemplified the spirit of discovery, learning and service.”

“One of the reasons he was going there, from what I understood, was to- with this global trading and this global environment that we live in now, was to understand part of what was going on with the Israelis and how they were interacting with the global trading and such things as that,” Northern said.

“This horrific act of violence has robbed our Vanderbilt family of a young hopeful life and all of the bright promise that he held for bettering our greater world,” Vanderbilt said.

“From what I remember his family had an extensive military background. His grandfather was a pilot in the military, his father was a pilot in the military. And when Taylor was young, he wanted to be a pilot in the military. He wanted to follow into that tradition, and go into the service and become a military pilot,” Northern said.

Force’s father said contrary to initial reports, his son was happily single. He said he had seen news coverage of the attack, and was devastated when he received a call from Vanderbilt shortly thereafter. He said his son had been in Israel between 4-7 days.

“He was such a hard worker, an Eagle Scout, and loved by everybody,” Stuart Force said about his son.

“How does anyone prepare for something like this?” he added.

Force’s dad said his family would be taking each day one at a time as the grieving process continues and the healing begins. He said his son enjoyed playing guitar and singing for entertainment, and that Force’s music roots were planted in Lubbock.

Force’s father said Congressman Randy Neugebauer appointed Force to West Point upon his graduation from high school.

“Our thoughts and prayers go out to Mr. Force’s parents and his family as well,” said Neugebauer, after learning of Force’s death. “West Texas has contributed to the national security of our country for multiple generations, particularly Texas.”

Neugebauer stressed situational awareness for anyone traveling abroad.

“I think one of the things that we know is that the world is a very dangerous place right now, and particularly the Middle East is a very unstable area.”

The text of the Vanderbilt statement is copied as follows:

Taylor Force, 28, a student at Vanderbilt University’s Owen Graduate School of Management, was fatally wounded Tuesday, March 8, in a stabbing attack while on an Owen school trip to Tel Aviv, Israel. All other Vanderbilt students, faculty and staff on the trip are safe. The university is arranging for their return and care.

Force was a first-year MBA student and a graduate of the United States Military Academy, West Point.

Twenty-nine Owen School students, accompanied by four faculty and staff, were traveling to Israel to learn about global entrepreneurship through meetings with start-up companies in one of the most active international cities for start-ups.

“Taylor’s family and his friends and colleagues have our deepest sympathy and utmost support. He exemplified the spirit of discovery, learning and service that is the hallmark of our wonderful Owen community. This horrific act of violence has robbed our Vanderbilt family of a young hopeful life and all of the bright promise that he held for bettering our greater world,” Chancellor Nicholas S. Zeppos wrote in a message sent to the Vanderbilt community.

Counseling resources are being made available for faculty, students, and staff as needed through the university’s Psychological and Counseling Center, Employee Assistance Program and the Office of Religious Life and University Chaplain.